F+G: Qatar’s economic outlook positive in 2016-17by Paromita Dey on Mar 14, 2016
Despite a considerable reduction in oil and gas revenues, Qatar seems to be holding on to its position as one of the fastest growing economies in the region and the Middle East, due to continued government spending on infrastructure and tourism projects in addition to Qatar’s fiscal buffers and sizeable assets.
According to Faithful+Gould, Qatar’s position as one of the most financially secure economies, anchored by long-term liquefied natural gas (LNG) contracts and robust financial reserves, providing a cushion against an extended economic downturn; Qatar will remain relatively strong over the next two years.
As such, Qatar released its budget for 2016 this past December projecting a deficit of $12.8bn as well as forecasting revenues of $42.8bn (QAR156bn) and expenditures of $55.6bn(QAR202.5bn) prompting the government to reach out to banks for $5.5bn in assistance to reduce domestic borrowing.
However the country’s minister stated that the state would maintain spending in key sectors such as infrastructure, transport, health and education with $200bn dedicated physical infrastructure between now and 2022.
Mark Aigner, country director for Qatar at Faithful+Gould said “Despite the drop in oil prices Qatar is going to remain relatively strong over the next two years and Qatar’s spend on physical infrastructure is estimated at $200bn between now and 2022."
"However most are unaware that only 10% of this spend is dedicated to preparing for 2022 World Cup leaving the remainder, a significant amount which has been allocated to infrastructure projects in transport, building up urban areas, housing, health and education. And unlike western cities that have been around for hundreds of years, developing cities in the Middle East have the rare opportunity to design world class cities from an early stage bringing in smart concepts and solutions using new technologies from the ground up.
"This gives Doha a huge advantage in its plans to build a world class city worthy of hosting global events such as 2022 and any plans it may have beyond 2030 and it will ensure a healthy pipeline of new projects providing numerous new opportunities for all in the sector.”
Mark Aigner is set to discuss managing world class cities with other respected industry stakeholders at the upcoming Qatar Projects Conference 2016 to be held at the St Regis, Doha.